What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith serves as a roadmap to help you get where you want to go in life and at work.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith helps people:
Get into leadership position.
Put your vision into action.
Identify and change bad habits.
Succeed and reach higher heights of success.
Understand that the same skills that got you previous success and won’t get you to the next level.
Why is it so hard to stop a bad habit?
It is not easy for successful people to change their behavior because their past successes have acted as positive reinforcement and have solidified some of your behaviors.
Furthermore, stopping a bad behavior isn’t as rewarded as you would think but it detrimental to success.
Indeed, we don’t get as much credit for stopping something as much as starting something.
Successful people either assume that:
They are right and everybody else is wrong.
People who want them to change are confused.
What you think about them doesn’t matter to them.
Their behavior is not hindering their success.
Changing their behavior is not worth it.
To get people to change their behavior, it is important to have them identify what they value most and somewhat “threaten” that value.
21 Habits That Got You Here But Won’t Get You There
Some people are successful in spite of their behavior.
Understand that you can be successful in spite of your flaws.
Recognize our bad behavior.
Examine your behaviors to see what feelings are attached to them.
Avoid attacking value to the bad behavior that you associate with success.
Find a reason to change, an example that will act as a positive reinforcement.
Marshall Goldsmith exhibits 21 behaviors that alienate people, that you need to stop and that are simple to correct.
Habit #1. Winning too much
In the case, the urge to win is strong and is triggered in any situation, whether it matters or not.
However, the need to win can limit your success because it can destroy relationships.
Habit #2. Adding too much value
Another habit of smart people is always feeling the need to add value to every discussion, to run the show.
They need to let everybody know that they already know or that they know a better way.
The need to add value is simple a variation of the need to win.
Habit #3. Passing judgment
Passing judgement pushes people away because people do not like to be rated or critiqued.
Imposing your standards on people, approving or disapproving of people’s decision will make you seem unwelcoming and disagreeable.
Habit #4. Making destructive comments
Some people make destructive comments without thinking: they put people down, they hurt them or assert themselves as their superiors.
This habit of making hurtful and sarcastic remarks quickly erodes teamwork and cooperation.
It can stem from a habit of always being candid or from a need to sound sharp and witty.
Habit #5. Starting with “No”, “But” or “However”
Starting with “No”, “But” or “However” says that whatever the other person is saying is wrong and what you are saying is right.
The use of these negative qualifiers comes from a need to win and defend your position.
Habit #6. Telling the world how smart we are
The need to demonstrate how smart you are is a variation of the need to win, to gain people’s admiration and to communicate that you are two steps ahead of everyone else.
Habit #7. Speaking when angry
Anger can be a valuable management tool but it does not guarantee how people will react to your emotional outbursts.
However, anger is not a leadership tool. Using anger as a tool says that you are out of control and that you cannot lead. It stifles your ability to change and brands you as being emotionally volatile.
Habit #8. Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”
Everybody avoids negative people in the workplace.
Negative people find problems to every one of your solutions.
They are not helpful. They don’t add value but they want to demonstrate that their knowledge is superior to everybody else’s.
Habit #9. Withholding information
Withholding information is part of corporate culture and is used to gain power.
People who withhold information answer questions with a question, tend to be passive aggressive and promote mistrust.
It becomes important to improve your communications skills, to make sharing information a priority, and to inform people what you are up to.
Habit #10. Failing to give proper recognition
People who are unable to praise and reward, who don’t recognize the contribution of others technically withhold information.
People who are not recognized feel unsuccessful, unappreciated, forgotten and ignored.
Habit #11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve
The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.
People who claim credit withhold praise and congratulations, overlook the right people, deprive them from recognition.
People who claim credit are thieves and need to win. Whether you are the perpetrator or the victim of credit hogging:
Write down every time you congratulate yourself per day.
Review your list and discern who deserves credit.
Habit #12. Making excuses
Making excuses is not a viable leadership strategy and stops self-development.
Excuses are different from explanation. However, most people use excuses to explain their failures.
Habit #13. Clinging to the past
The past explains a lot of our behavior.
Most people live in the past because they can blame others for things that happened to them.
However, clinging to the past is unhealthy. The past cannot be changed, rewritten or excuses. It can only be accepted.
Habit #14. Playing favorites
Some leaders unknowingly play favorites.
They encourage people who serve them, praise them and admire them unconditionally.
Playing favorites is dangerous because you select the wrong people, you favor people who don’t necessarily like you, you fail to recognize the people who deserve it.
Habit #15. Refusing to express regret
People who refuse to express regret are unable to forgive, to apologize, to admit their wrongs, to cede power or control.
Refusing to apologize can create a toxic workplace. However, apologizing is powerful tool.
Habit #16. Not listening
Lack of attention is one of the most common bad habits in the workplace.
Not listening to someone demonstrates that you are impatient, don’t care about what they are saying, that they are wasting your time, that you don’t understand what they are saying.
Habit #17. Failing to express gratitude
Expressing gratitude is a powerful and essential tool to success.
Habit #18. Punishing the messenger
Punishing the messenger tend to attack those who blow the whistle and who bring bad news to us.
Habit #19. Passing the buck
The need to blame everyone but ourselves.
Passing the buck means finding a scapegoat, blaming others for our mistakes.
Leaders who pass the buck are difficult to follow because they don’t take responsibility for their actions.
Habit #20. An excessive need to be “me”
People who feel the need to be themselves hold on to behaviors they think intrinsically define them.
They refuse to change because they see it as being inauthentic.
The truth is they have a limited definition of themselves.
Habit #21. Goal obsession
Goal obsession can drive to success but it can also drive to failure.
Goal obsession or obsessing over the wrong goals become negative when you force yourself to achieve your goals in spite of the bigger picture, of your manners and your character.
How To Overcome These 21 Habits?
To dispel these habits, it is important to learn what type of information is appropriate to share, when and how to convey information, who to ask for information, how to discern useful information.
To overcome these 21 habits:
Ask for feedback. Change does not happen with negative feedback but with honest and helpful feedback.
Get feedback on your own from your surroundings and from how people react to you.
Learn to apologize for your bad behavior to the people who matter most to you. By apologizing, you mend broken relationships and overcome negative emotions.
Demonstrate changed behavior or your intention to change your behavior.
Listen more than you speak and listen with respect.
Follow up on your progress by asking your coworkers.
Discuss the behavior you are changing to one person and ask them for suggestions in the future.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith is a very insightful book. It serves as a workplace guide of the things not to do.
It is written for leaders and for people who want to move up in life and at work.
According to Marshall Goldsmith, everybody has a at least six to eight habits that need to be stopped. From the look of it, we are all guilty of these habits.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith is definitely a good place to start when you are looking to improve, when you are looking to understand the people and the different dynamics in the workplace.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
We have to stop couching all our behavior in terms of positive or negative. Not all behavior is good or bad. Some of it is simply neutral. Neither good nor bad.
the higher you go, the more your problems are behavioral.
As we advance in our careers, behavioral changes are often the only significant changes we can make.
If we can stop excusing ourselves, we can get better at almost anything we choose.
Gratitude is a skill that we can never display too often. And yet for some reason, we are cheap and chary with gratitude—as if it were rare Bordeaux wine that we can serve only on special occasions. Gratitude is not a limited resource, nor is it costly. It is as abundant as air. We breathe it in but forget to exhale.
There are no good or bad emotions per se. However, some emotional displays are more socially acceptable than others, depending on each individual’s socio-economic background, appearances and attached stereotypes.
For example, being spiteful and openly provoking someone is socially accepted. However, a person reacting to that provocation with anger is not.
Furthermore, in the workplace, you must leave your emotions at the door, and display a confident and positive attitude. Demonstrating that you are having a bad week will probably get you removed from the project.
When the pressure is on, organizations look to leaders to take action and to safely bring the organization out of hot waters. Leaders who are unable to step up to the plate will potentially be removed from their position.
As a leader, you must discipline your emotions, always have a clear head, continuously deal with challenges, give and receive feedback, keep your employees motivated and on task, even when you are tired or fed up.
Wondering how to discipline your emotions and improve your leadership skills?
What being emotionally disciplined means…
Emotional discipline is about being able to effectively manage your feelings. Being emotionally disciplined means that you are also able to:
Stay calm in challenging situations and overpower your own emotions. You can then deal with a tough situation, without making it worse.
Respond and not react to triggering events.
Gain more power over yourself and control yourself instead of being controlled.
Separate your inner voice from the outside noise.
Remain in the present, avoid dwelling on the past and obsessing about the future.
Decide and act how you want to really feel.
Acquire the freedom to express yourself freely and to engage in activities that make you happy.
Avoid getting tangled up in someone else’s web and positively interact with people. Let’s be honest, emotional discipline is useful to gracefully put people back in their place.
See people for who they really are and for how they really make you feel.
Gain new perspectives on your problems and navigate different situations.
Effectively address important and difficult issues.
Take advantage of a given situation and delay instant gratification for long-term rewards.
Possess several strategies to overcome most challenges.
Why discipline your emotions?
People will try your patience and your peace of mind on a daily basis in life and in the workplace.
The way you feel has an impact on your behavior, on the way you lead and the way you think. Your emotions also affect your health, your self-talk and your work performance.
Needless to say, becoming emotionally disciplined requires a lot of self-reflection, quiet moments with yourself and understanding that no one can harm you without your consent.
It requires growth, that you build up your resistance and become thick-skinned. It is not an easy nor an overnight process.
How leaders strengthen their emotional discipline?
Most people who possess emotional discipline are successfully placed in leadership positions because they are able to work through their own discomfort. To strengthen your emotional discipline, it is imperative to acquire the following habits.
#1. Leaders have a strong hold on their identity
They know their core values, their strengths and weaknesses. They also know where to apply them and they learn about themselves through their emotions.
In addition, they do not let stereotypes and assumptions define them.
#2. Leaders understand their triggers
This step is time-consuming because people might not want to immediately confront their emotions and they might resist the drive down memory lane.
When the pressure is on, leaders are able to quickly identify the origin of your emotions. They know their triggers, understand why that situation or this person is triggering them.
Furthermore, they don’t let anyone push their buttons or control them, they don’t react but they respond to negative behavior.
They wake up in the morning ready to achieve their goals for the day and to make the right decisions for themselves.
#4. Leaders walk with integrity
They do what is right because doing the wrong thing requires too much emotional effort.
Moreover, they take accountability for their actions and don’t shift blame.
#5. Leaders stay in the moment
Most of the time, being in the moment will give you the opportunity to feel your emotional response and give you the appropriate response to any situation.
#6. Leaders identify the emotions that overcome them
If you cannot find the right words to describe your emotion, postpone your self-reflection until later, when you’re in a quiet place.
#7. If they can, leaders write down their thoughts on paper
This way, you will notice your thought patterns, illogical and irrational thoughts, the assumptions that you make, the systems of beliefs, the solutions to your situation, what you need to feel better and to clarify your situation.
#8. Leaders practice self-care
They work out regularly, eat well and do things that you enjoy.
In addition, they take the time to meditate, to quiet the noise in their minds, to improve their self-talk and to employ the power of positive affirmations.
#9. Leaders see people for who they truly are
Leaders are not only self-aware but they are aware of other people’s intention.
#10. Leaders have a strong support system
They have an emotional support system in place that helps them reason, that they go to regularly and that act as a sounding board.
They also surround themselves with people who are emotionally healthy.
There are laws and principles that govern the workplace. We can either ignore them, acknowledge them or abide by them.
These laws and principles are the most visible when someone has been promoted, is moving forward or a new boss is in town. Some appear to be jealous, some try to quickly affiliate with the winner, to show their allegiance. Others are quick to sabotage and to compete.
I am not one to willingly participate in office politics. However, in my opinion, because knowledge is power, the best way to avoid politics is to know the rules. I like to know what is happening, how to read a room, to always be aware of my behavior, and to prepare myself for what is coming.
This advice is also valuable for minorities who encounters western group think in the office, who need to be realistic about their situations and want to understand how to advance themselves, how to protect themselves.
Wondering how to navigate office politics and whether or not you should be interested in it?
What is office politics?
Office politics is a human concept and is inevitable. It is also very necessary and will go on whether your participate in it or not.
In office politics people seek power, leadership, influence and/or control of other people, more responsibility on their job.
Office politics is a particular hard skill becauseit requires that you control your primitive, impulsive responses to different situations and that you stay in high alert at all times.
The Perks Of Office Politics
Political animals in the office usually get what they want, to evade conflicts and sometimes create them between different individuals. Political animals:
Have influence. They build healthy relationships, even with toxic individuals.
Recognize the agendas and powers at play in any relationships.
Get the best projects, get promoted, get pay raise and other rewards.
Are trusted for their opinions.
Get credit for their hard work.
Get their career on a positive track.
Have the ability and the tools to deal with opposition and usually wins in a conflict.
Conserve their energy and focus it on worthwhile issues.
Avoid being blindsided or facing unpleasant outcomes.
What We Hate About Office Politics
Office politics is often badly perceived because it can be cruel, be viewed as being calculated and manipulative.
Sometimes, office politics is a dangerous and corrosive game but it is a game. It is part of human nature, a social activity, a marathon and not a sprint.
It is often used to sabotage, to manipulate, to deflect or to create a conflict between people.
Therefore, it is not for the faint of heart. Before starting, you must make sure that you are robust, are not dependent on people or other external factors, that you are emotionally detached from your work and that you can clearly separate your identity from your job.
Furthermore, keep in mind that abusing power on the long run does not lead to success.
Principle #1: Defining your purpose
Having greater goals in life will help you sustain and overcome opposition, avoid being pushed around by people or events. Your ultimate goals can be:
staying at a company and getting your pay check to ensure your lifestyle and to guarantee financial stability.
staying at a company, evolving, building healthy relationships
Living the company and finding better
Either way, set realistic goals, expectations for yourself. Next, stay focus on your goals, use your goals to guide your decisions and your behavior.
Principle #2: Know your strengths, weaknesses and limits
Politics and power will challenge your weaknesses.
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you assess your worth, appreciate your contributions at work and determine whether or not you can run with horses. This will also help you identify them in others, understand them, maximize their potential and forgive their weaknesses.
To be effective at office politics, don’t directly demonstrate or enunciate your strengths or weaknesses. It is best to wait for the right moment to do so.
In addition, you must seek to enhance your performance, your productivity, to develop competencies that are hard to acquire or hard to replace. and to deliver great results. Then, discreetly promote your results.
Principle #3: Maintaining your leadership capabilities
It is important to learn to keep your peace and your composure at all times by seriously controlling your emotions. This demands a lot of discipline and will help you grow as a person.
Furthermore, lead by example and take care or yourself first. Great leaders have power but stay humble and don’t abuse it.
To help you manage people, conflicts, to adopt the right behavior, to estimate your position and status:
Understand the company culture, values and principles.
Understand the people who you work with, estimate their boundaries and assess their attitudes.
Believe that hierarchy exist and is gladly enforced in the workplace. This means that you must, at some point, show deference to your “superiors”.This doesn’t mean that your “superiors” have greater character, greater skill sets or greater vision. However, no matter who you are, you won’t be able to freely speak your mind, to make your own decisions, to control your assignments.
Discipline your words and your thoughts
Stay away from gossip and rumors.
Watch what you say and how you say it.
Give substance to your speech.
Monitor your behavior at all times.
Discipline your emotions
Get rid of your ego and nurture your sense of humor. If you don’t know something, say so and don’t fake knowledge.
Don’t waste your time and energy on useless matters.
Keep your wits about you.
When someone slights you, don’t give them an emotional reaction.
Principle #4: Behave ethically
Remain true to your core values.
Don’t expect to be treated fairly.
Upgrade your character in order to be unimpeachable from the start. People with low or no ethics are unsuccessful in the long run.
Poor character leads to abusive, aggressive, masochistic, sadist behavior and office politics.
When I was working for a long corporation, one person in the office was being bullied. I was asked, as a team member, to participate in the bullying and to force the person to quit.
Most of my team members, for fun or for fear of retribution, would engage in toxic behavior towards this one person, put down false complaints and manufacture false rumors as well.
Without doing the same, I realized that sadistically beating down on someone, engaging in toxic behavior were not aligning with my core values and wouldn’t allow me to sleep properly at night.
To solve the solution, I simply listened to the request, spoke positively about the person, suggested to them that they had to find a better position and found a better place to work myself.
What was your ethically questionable experience?
Principle #5: Building your network and gaining influence
Networking is an important process, especially if your are shy and introverted. Who you know will determine how far you will get.
Here are some tips below that will help you be unbothered, to gain influence and build positive relationships:
Protect your reputation at all cost. For instance, if you make promises, live up to them.
Have a positive attitude. Avoid being mean or offending people for sport.
Act or be confident. It is important to fake it until you make it, to dress confidently and dress for success.
Give your best on your job and put your best foot forward. You can even become an expert in your field.
Empathetic ally listen to your coworkers. This way, you will get invaluable information about the environment, be solution oriented and build strong relationships.
Look to be respected and not to be liked.
Seek to integrate the group before you seek to lead it.
Target people who can help you achieve your goals and let them know what you bring to the table.
Don’t worry what people say about you, don’t gossip or spread false rumors.
Avoid too much flattery. You will appear weak to your peers, will erode their respect and the respect of the higher-ups.
Involve people in your decision-making process.
Principle #6: Friend or Foe?
It is detrimental to discern your friends from your enemies, your confidant from your comrade, your constituents from your compatriots.
Keep in mind that:
Not everybody is your friend and don’t expect your “friends” to have your back.
It is better to have allies than to have enemies.
Your enemies won’t stop at anything to block you from achieving your purpose.
In conflicts or challenging situations:
Always seek to diffuse tension.
Avoid taking sides, power struggles but don’t give in to enemies or attempt to please them.
Mind your business and don’t take anything personally.
Identify the toxic behavior and the solution for it.
Don’t stoop to the level of the perpetrator or please the naysayers.
Don’t play the victim or suffer unfair treatment.
Ask questions rather than giving answers or have a private chat with an enemy and try to bring them to your side.
If you are not in position of power or are not favored at your job, accept it and move on, especially if you don’t know how to maneuver the situation.
If excluded from a group, don’t attempt to fit in, just join a new one or leave the place.
If you are being openly criticized or insulted, don’t let that affect your self-worth or your work. Agree with the perpetrator without demonstrating emotion.
Principle #7: Change
To handle office politics, one must learn to appreciate change and adapt to it.
Stay present, stay resilient and robust to conflicts and change, to your own emotions, to the emotions of others.
Learn to deal with change and quickly recover from your blows.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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The consequences of distrust are significant. It increases employees turnover and employees don’t volunteer ideas like they should, question every single move of the leader, undermine his or her decisions.
Nobody wants to go to work where they constantly have to look behind their shoulder, where they cannot share knowledge freely, where they cannot speak up in meetings, where they have to watch their every single word.
We end up losing confidence in yourself, not wanting to contribute at work, preserving ourselves, acting against our core values, lacking energy, refusing to invest in people, felling alone and always on the look out.
Wondering how to build or repair trust in leadership and in the workplace?
What is trust?
Trust is an emotional bond, a connection between two people who is developed through repeated interactions and that provides comfort and stability. It is the foundation of all relationships and according to Patrick Lencioni, in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team it is the most important factor in team cohesion.
Furthermore, trust is reciprocal, subjective, takes time to build but can be destroyed in a matter of seconds. It is not granted by a title nor by a position but is necessary to work and to share knowledge. Trust is empowering, improves overall employees motivation, productivity, wellbeing in the workplace and corporate culture.
Trust is detrimental to leadership because leaders have the power to make decisions that can impact their team and their livelihood.
Detecting and understanding untrustworthy leaders
Trustworthy leaders drive success, put employees at ease, have their employees best interest at heart. Trustworthy leaders care about their own contributions, about the impact of their decision, about their people and regularly show appreciation. They are fair and respectful, are credible and communicate openly.
Nevertheless, some leaders exhibit negative behaviors that make them seem untrustworthy. Because, trust is subjective and because followers model these behavior, it is compulsory that leaders identify what they are doing wrong and immediately correct themselves.
Below are different scenarios where leaders are perceived to be untrustworthy and the respective explanation to their behavior.
Some leaders are naturally reserved and secretive. Unfortunately, they come off as being snobs, defensive, or as having a personal agenda. People generally think the worst when they don’t know what their leader is thinking.
Some leaders are introverts and minimize social interactions. To their team, they are perceived to either be standoffish, weirdos. This can open the door to a lot of misunderstandings and conflicts.
Some leaders speak very little because they either believe that the topic doesn’t deserve much conversation, don’t enjoy speaking, don’t feel the need to explain themselves or they are unable to put their thoughts into words.
Some leaders adapt their response to their audience and come off as being disingenuous. For example, they would talk frankly in front of their team and sugarcoat things in front of the hierarchy.
Some leaders are self-serving and don’t care about their employees. They don’t demonstrate respect for their team and can easily step over them.
Some leaders are arrogant. They feel superior to others all while being insecure, they lack humility and self-awareness, they are unwilling to learn and to grow.
Some leaders blatantly lie. In some toxic companies, lying is seen as a strength. But this strength is short-termed and create distrust amongst employees.
Some leaders gossip about their own employees and their own organization. Because most employees are attempting to preserve their jobs, employees tend to fake their true feelings. However, leaders have difficulties noticing the impact of their negative behavior.
Some leaders are able to shift blame too easily and don’t take responsibility for their action. This leader is afraid of confronting themselves. This makes employees unwilling to take risks and to involve themselves in their job.
Some leaders play favorites, treat their employees unfairly, take credit for their work, disrespect them, isolate and scapegoat some employees and sabotage others.
Some leaders underperform or don’t come through on promises. People tend to dismiss those who overpromise and underperform, even if they are talented or competent.
Some leaders overreact to challenges and under high pressured situations, they give in too easily to their emotions.
How to build trust and maintain it in the workplace?
Placing trust in someone makes us vulnerable to that person who can use this vulnerability to their advantage. However, to create a healthy workplace, it is necessary for leaders to build trust within their team. To do so, you will have to:
Trust yourself in order to make yourself feel confident, competent, to help yourself grow your relationships, to take risks and to face challenges.
Develop your character and learnt to do what is right.
Learn new skills and teach them to others.
Create a safe workplace. Help others express themselves, their ideas, and vent their frustrations. Help employees achieve their goals. Give your employees room to grow their skills and self-esteem by offering them training and coaching.
Appreciate people‘s capabilities and employ them for their strengths.
Give trust to receive trust. However, beware of people who will take advantage of your eagerness to trust. Learn how to detect these toxic individuals and protect yourself from them.
Actively listen to your team without speaking or emitting judgements.
Toxic leaders, with different backgrounds, populate television, politics, corporate and decent ones are extremely rare. We have all met the chosen one in the workplace. The chosen one is protected by hierarchy, is more or less competent at his or her job, displays charisma and easily influences others.
However, The chosen one is also arrogant, unscrupulous, manipulative, lacks integrity, lies, deceives gossips freely about people. He or she doesn’t need to excuse or justify himself or herself, has carte blanche to do whatever as long as the organization profits from their behavior.
Wondering why toxic leaders have followers, how to detect and deal with them?
Toxicity is the quality of being harmful and poisonous. There are different levels of toxicity and most of the time, the leader’s character and level of toxicity are closely connected.
Toxic leaders have a welcomed home in corporate, emerge from different cultures, take pleasure in seducing, sabotaging, undermining, manipulating, criticizing, intimidating, scapegoating, suppressing their collaborators and own followers, in harming followers physical and mental health and in using fear to get their way.
Furthermore, they lack integrity, awareness, emotional intelligence and core values, are overly ambitious, are arrogant, shift blame easily, see money as power, are blinded by the impact of their actions, are unable to understand occurring problems and difficult decisions.
The reasons why people don’t stand up to toxic leaders
Some leaders behave harmfully without knowing it or without wanting to change. Some leaders acknowledge their poisonous behavior, commit to improving themselves and become exemplary leaders on the long run. Others go from naive and gentle to toxic due to their environment and their followers.
Around the leader, they are different types of followers. There are those who encourage the leader’s negative behavior. Those that ignore and protect the leader’s behavior. Those who just want to work or follow a vision. Those who seek to undermine the leader to safeguard their own position or to take the leader’s position.
Most toxic leaders are difficultly overthrown, are able to successfully retain followers and progress in the corporate ladder. In life and in the workplace, followers tend to stay in negative environments and to rationalize the behavior of toxic leaders because:
Leaders have the power to promote and demote their followers, to hire and fire them.
Leaders bring financial security, put a roof over our heads.
Followers create toxic leaders even if they don’t exist and tend to keep them in power. Bad leaders flaws are generally ignored, minimized or protected to fuel the follower’s interest. As a result, their strengths are highlighted.
Followers are afraid of reprisals, of challenging the status quo, of going against group-think.
Followers are addicted to the culture of success.
Followers are unable to overcome self-preservation.
Followers need acceptance from a group, recognition, approval, validation to increase their self-esteem.
Followers seek purpose, self-fulfillment and think that the unhealthy workplace will bring them closer to their calling.
Followers are relieved that the leader makes the hard decisions and lifts the heavy weight.
Followers think of kind and decent leaders as weak and therefore undermine their authority.
Decent leaders are not represented in the media. Exemplary leaders are not applauded for their behavior, and performance, even though they are not exempt of weaknesses.
The benefits of tolerating toxic leaders
From the follower’s stand point, there are several benefits from tolerating toxic leaders. Suffering followers:
Have the opportunity to recognize their potential and to emerge while leaders are looking to control their followers.
Network outside their toxic workplace and bond with others suffering followers under the yoke of the leader.
Increase their spiritual awareness and grow closer to God.
How to detect toxic leaders?
A nontoxic leader can exhibit a few toxic behaviors and qualities depending on the circumstances. Toxic leaders are hard to detect because they are sometimes able to disguise their negative behavior with benign behavior. To identify them, look out for behavioral patterns, learn the lessons of History and monitor leaders who:
Promote themselves by diminishing others, are arrogant, shift blame and lie easily.
Manipulate others and make them do their dirty work.
Mistreat the most insecure and weakest person on the team, who openly criticize people on the team.
Reject constructive criticism.
Create conflicts between collaborators, seek to deceive, dominate and eliminate followers.
Foster a competitive workplace, where their power and well-being are more important than the well-being of their followers.
How to deal with toxic leaders?
Fighting back is hard but not impossible because toxic leader grow stronger and more resilient per attack. To deal effectively with toxic leaders:
Speak out and directly confront toxic behavior. If toxic behavior persists when alone and behind closed doors, recruit help of others and confront in group.
Find a trust factor to connect with the leader
Mentor or coach the toxic leader. Train leaders to be accountable for their actions.
Attempt to quietly undermine the toxic leader.
Organize protests against the toxic leader
Leave the organization as a last option. When you reach your breaking point physically and mentally, when your performance suffers.
Don’t allow leaders to remain in the same position too long.
Hire people with character, who don’t seek power and monitor their behavior.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.